Katy Perry's "Woman's World" Sexualizes Women, Singer Dubbed A "Fake Feminist"

Katy Perry's teaser for feminist song "Woman's World" was co-written by men (one was an alleged sexual abuser), accompanied by a sexualized video directed by yet another man.

By Nicole Dominique2 min read

Katy Perry's "Women's World" is receiving backlash from women, and I'm here for it.

Perry's teaser for "Woman's World" portrays her in a scantily-clad, pornified version of Rosie the Riveter, with close-up shots of her breasts, sexual paraphernalia, and thin background models. Adding to the controversy, the song is produced by Kesha's alleged sexual abuser, Dr. Luke.

In the 15-second teaser, Perry is seen using a jade roller on her face, holding a sex toy, drinking alcohol, and shaking her chest.

The video has already received mixed reviews from fans, with many dubbing Perry a "fake feminist." I'd argue that her video greatly represents liberal feminism, which I suppose you could call "fake feminism" or "choice feminism," as the movement has done a great job of reducing women to sexual objects. Liberal feminists argue that "sex work is work" and pornography is empowering to women, that being a girl means wearing sexy little bikinis and posing for porn-brained men.

Peter Lloyd, a journalist, noted the many contradictions in Perry's "feminist" song: "Katy Perry’s new song is a feminist anthem called 'Woman’s World.' It was co-written by six people, four of whom are men. It’s produced by three men, one of whom is Dr Luke, who was accused of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse by Kesha. The video is also directed by a man."

Old-school feminists may have succeeded in fighting for women's rights, but what they experienced isn't the same kind of oppression we're facing today. Now, women have to redirect their focus to the damage done by liberal feminists rather than "the patriarchy."

"This just feels tired... but not because she's old or anything like that. Rather, it's because she's referencing an increasingly distant past," wrote @dvorstone. "This is 1940's imagery. The feminists won... but they want to keep fighting the same battles. That's why this doesn't provoke any real response other than 'meh.' The world has moved on from their revolution. They have to own what they created. There's no patriarchy to reject anymore."

"Who is this song for?" asked @Emilyvaughnx on X. "being a woman in this world is already degrading and difficult, but to release a 'women empowerment' song produced by a woman’s abuser is insane. I really hate fake feminism."

"'it’s a woman’s world' and she only shows women with one body type," wrote @imnotauntblazer.

"'woman's world' and all you can see in the teaser is woman's body sexualized as much as possible," added @autonawode.

In 2014, Perry defined feminism for us. "A feminist? Um, yeah, actually … I used to not really understand what that word meant, and now that I do, it just means that I love myself as a female and I also love men," she said. The issue here is that liberal feminists frequently mistake self-love for self-destructive behaviors that lead themselves and other women to their downfall. Like sex work, casual hookups with men who only see them as objects, or succumbing to the pressures of beauty standards and excusing plastic surgery as an "empowering" choice.

If Perry's video was trying to uplift women and represent them with elementary lyrics like "Sexy, confident / So intelligent / She is heaven sent / So soft, so strong," then I'm sorry to say it, but she missed the mark and is setting us back. It's pretty cringe-worthy how Perry also dressed up as Rosie the Riveter, a symbol of women's strength and determination through wartime labor, only to turn it into a sexualized spectacle. All I could think about when watching her pornified teaser was, as other users have asked, "Who is this video for?" Is it truly created for women, or does it cater more to a misogynist's world?

Support our cause and help women reclaim their femininity by subscribing today.